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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
velvety smooth when passing on the highway
The Detroit News
Car and Driver
a firm, progressive pedal feel and respectable stopping distances
The 2009 Toyota Tundra is a capable cargo hauler, as well as a sporty and quick full-sized pickup truck.
Edmunds lists the available engines as "a 4.0-liter V6 rated for 236 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque" that comes "standard on the Tundra Regular Cab and standard-bed Double Cab." Long-bed Double Cabs and the CrewMax come standard with a "4.7-liter V8 with 271 hp and 313 lb-ft," an engine that Edmunds says is optional on the other configurations. The final, and definitely most capable, engine offered on the 2009 Toyota Tundra is the "muscular 5.7-liter V8 that pumps out 381 hp and 401 lb-ft," according to Edmunds. Depending on how you plan to use the Tundra, Toyota offers the right engine for you.
TheCarConnection.com surmises that the 5.7-liter iForce V-8 engine in the 2009 Tundra receives rave reviews. Consumer Guide testers find that "there's good power and response with the 4.7 V-8, but the 5.7 feels stronger at all speeds." Car and Driver says that the 5.7 provides "exhilarating" acceleration, moving from "0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds." The Detroit News adds that it is "velvety smooth when passing on the highway" and "provides excellent acceleration off the line." In terms of workplace practicality, Cars.com notes that "Toyota says the Tundra, when properly equipped, can tow up to 10,800 pounds."
Car and Driver testers rave about the "quick-thinking six-speed" on the iForce engine, which offers "right-now response when you push go." The five-speed provides similarly quick shifts, though the lack of an additional top-end gear hurts the 2009 Tundra's fuel economy numbers, which are already painful. The 2009 Toyota Tundra offers several transmissions and drive systems to put the Tundra's considerable power to the pavement. Edmunds reports that "all versions of the Tundra can be equipped with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive," with the benefits of the 2WD being slightly better fuel economy and greater towing capacity, although it does sacrifice some off-road capability. Cars.com reviewers say that the "two smaller engines drive a five-speed automatic transmission, while the 5.7-liter V-8 works with a six-speed automatic."
According to Kelley Blue Book, the more powerful iForce manages marginally better highway numbers than the 4.7-liter engine thanks to "variable valve timing and the benefits of a six-speed automatic transmission." The EPA estimates that the six-cylinder engine will return 15/19 mpg, the best numbers of all the engine types on the Toyota Tundra. The midrange 4.7-liter engine offers either 14/17 mpg in 2WD trim or 13/16 mpg in 4WD, while the 5.7-liter iForce gets 14/18 mpg in 2WD and 13/17 mpg in 4WD.
The handling capabilities of the 2009 Tundra bring more compliments from reviewers. The Detroit News finds the 2009 Tundra boasts "bigger brakes" that help it offer what Edmunds describes as "a firm, progressive pedal feel and respectable stopping distances, with minimal fade under heavy use." Edmunds raves about the "light, precise steering" that "makes for easy maneuvering in parking lots," along with the Toyota Tundra's "minimal body roll." The Detroit News reviewer adds that driving the Toyota Tundra is "much more fun than anticipated," thanks in large part to the "crisp and clean" steering. When taken off-road, the 2009 Tundra, as Car and Driver reviewers observe, "dances over the chucks and humps with excellent control and no sense that it's being abused." Furthermore, reviewers rave about the stopping ability of the 2009 Toyota Tundra, an impressive trait given the truck's hefty size.
A big, capable engine and confidence-inspiring handling help the 2009 Toyota Tundra perform well.